John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Heading into Easter Weekend we are going to hear that scripture a lot. It really is an awesome statement but stop to think about it. A lot of people have laid down their lives for us. All those in the military are laying down their lives everyday for us. That really hit home the day that I swore into the Air Force. As I took that oath, I realized my life no longer belonged to me. I became the property of the U.S Government. For 8 years my life was laid down for freedom. During the Civil War my great – however long ago- great- grandfather died as a Union soldier fighting for the cause of setting my wife’s great –how ever long ago- great grandparents free from slavery. He laid his life down for someone he had never met. He laid down his life so that now, nearly 150 years later, Kesha and I are free to be married without being considered criminals. My story and my family’s story are just very small drops in a huge bucket of the stories of those who have and are laying down their lives for others. It’s always good to stop and say thanks for those actions. But with my next statement I want us to really think about this coming weekend. Many have laid down their lives for us, BUT ONLY ONE RAISED FROM THE DEAD FOR US. Look @ what Romans 10:9-10 says: “9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” There was a religious group combing through our neighborhood this last weekend. This time they did not stop at my house for whatever reason but usually they invite people to come celebrate the death of Jesus but say nothing about His resurrection. Do you realize that if Jesus stayed dead we would have no life? Sure for joy He endured the cross, Heb 12:2 tells us that, but the joy was not in the cross but in the victory over death. Last time I checked the gospels during the crucifixion he never yelled out “thank you sir may I have another”. I want to celebrate His raising, His victory, our victory. The next blog I’m going to cover Ephesians 1:19-20 more deeply but for now I’m just going to scratch the surface. Here are the scripts: “19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms”. Those 2 scriptures quite possible could be the most powerful scriptures in the whole Bible. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself, I’ll save that for the next entry. So to scratch the surface of Eph 1:19-20, more power was exerted with the resurrection of Jesus than at creation. I have to admit that sounds strange at first but listen, there was no reason for Lucifer (Satan. . . he got his new name at the fatal fruit buffet) to try to stop Creation. There was no reason for Lucifer to try to stop Adam and Eve from being created because he, Lucifer, had not yet learned that Eve’s seed would stomp on his head. But Satan and & hell had every reason to try to stop Jesus’ resurrection. It’s with that resurrection I have life. It’s with that resurrection I have salvation. It’s with that resurrection I have eternal fellowship with God. Many thanks to those who laid down their lives for us, but THANK GOD FOR THE ONE THAT RAISED FROM THE DEAD FOR US. THANK YOU JESUS!
Side note: when you hear this weekend “Greater love has no one than this” remember Jesus laid down His own life in ABSOLUTE LOVE.
Stay blessed y’all, it’s your choice.